Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Energy, peak oil and vegetables

The first time that I thought about the "western" way of life was when I was at university in the 1960's.  I remember hearing at that time that the number of calories of energy (oil) that were needed to produce one calorie of food was 60:1.  That means that it took 60 calories of energy to get one back as food.  That didn't make sense to me.  
Lately I have read that the "western" standard of living is equivalent to having 200 slaves working for you, for free.  That doesn't make sense either.
For many years I had the gut feeling that we (westerners) were living on borrowed time.  
Nowadays, much of this is expressed in terms of peak oil, environmental problems, climate change and finally the "GFC"  (global financial crisis.)

While this is all happening independent of whatever I am doing, this background has had a great influence on how I live my life.  
In 1999, I had very little money, I was unemployable and I couldn't afford to live in the city that I found myself.  I began to look for a house, and eventually found this...  built in about 1850, enlarged about 1900, and with a lot of work needed.
Yes,  I have begun to fix it.  There was 6 inch crack in the wall behind the green tank that is filled with concrete, and I have begun to paint. (I couldn't reach the top of the gable,  but when I get to the same part on the other side, I'll get some scaffolding to do both ends.)
There is also a solar hot water heater on the roof and that is finally paid for.
I have painted around to here (below), but I need to repair this end now, before painting further.  
The garden and the chickens are all productive.  I have a bicycle to ride to the shop (thanks to Louise.)  I'm not sure how many slaves I need now,  but with a wood stove and no airconditioning, I'm sure some of them can go free. 

1 comment:

Fiona (posts by her mum and dad) said...

You are so welcome for the bike, seeing your smile riding along was worth it. I think that Bertha would be quite stoked with it too.